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SOAS, University of London – The World’s University

We have literally never done anything quite like this, this has been my favourite project I’ve worked on in my 4 years at SOAS

Tawnya Cheatheam

Director of Marketing, Student Recruitment and Admissions


The Start: A Strategic Transformation

SOAS University of London embarked on a transformative journey to evolve its brand and align it with the new corporate strategy. The objective was not only to create a refreshed brand identity but also to reach and attract prospective undergraduates and postgraduates, thereby increasing brand awareness and driving applications in key areas across the UK.

The Middle: Crafting a Cohesive Brand Strategy

To ensure the successful implementation of the new strategy, a meticulous approach was taken. A mystery shopping team was deployed to assess every facet of the university, ensuring that the brand strategy was deeply ingrained in its operations.

The new brand proposition for SOAS was meticulously developed using proven tools such as the golden circle, brand tower, brand narrative, and value propositions. A new strapline, ‘The World’s University,’ emerged as the favoured choice, gaining swift approval from the Executive Board at SOAS.

Two high-value production hero videos were filmed on campus, highlighting key unique selling points and differentiators. The new brand was then launched with these videos, setting the stage for a comprehensive brand awareness and student recruitment drive.

Strategic Campaign Execution

To position SOAS as a global university and showcase its innovative approaches to solving global issues, a multi-faceted campaign was planned. Content and display strategies were employed, utilising platforms such as YouTube, Meta, LinkedIn and a four-part content series in partnership with The Guardian, to promote approaches to solving world problems. The content series was promoted through The Guardian’s sustainable video solution, to generate readership.

Sustainability was a core consideration, so the streamed ads were designed to pause whenever out of view, improving viewability, performance, and minimising the campaign’s carbon footprint.

A brand metrics study was conducted to measure awareness uplift, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of the brand revitalisation efforts.

The End: Impressive Results and Sustainability Focus

The campaign yielded remarkable results, with an overall brand uplift of 10.7%. The breakdown of brand uplift results revealed a 2.9% increase in awareness, a 5.7% boost in consideration, and a 2.1% rise in preference.

The content results exceeded expectations, with unique users outperforming the KPI at 192%. Dwell time on the content was impressive at 3:46, surpassing the 1:30 benchmark. The best-performing article, ‘Our staff members are social activists…,’ contributed significantly to the campaign’s success.

Display results were equally impressive, with a click-through rate more than double the 0.34% benchmark.

In addition to the positive metrics, the campaign demonstrated a commitment to sustainability. CO2 emission savings were achieved through data reduction (493 GB), resulting in a reduction of 148 kg of CO2 emissions. This is equivalent to the CO2 savings of traveling 1,129 km in a car.

To discuss your next TV, video content or digital advertising project with us, get in touch at nick.friend@hunterlodge.co.uk


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